The Hobbit rules the U.S. box office

Peter Jackson’s fantasy epic, which stars Martin Freeman and Sir Ian McKellen, beat out Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher, which debuted at number two with $15.6 million (£9.8 million) in ticket sales.

Judd Apatow’s new comedy This Is 40 came in third with earnings of $12 million (£7.5 million), while animated family film Rise of the Guardians fell to four ($5.9 million/£3.7 million) and historical drama Lincoln dropped to fifth ($5.6 million/£3.5 million).

Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen’s Guilt Trip failed to make the top five, coming in sixth with $5.2 million (£3.2 million) in earnings.